Craig Dawson and Declan Rice have been named in the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League Team of the Season.
The West Ham United duo were selected by UEFA’s Technical Observer panel after helping the Hammers reach the semi-finals on the Club’s debut appearance in the competition.
The Irons topped Group H with a game to spare after securing wins over Dinamo Zagreb, Rapid Vienna (twice) and Genk before securing memorable aggregate victories over Sevilla and Olympique Lyonnais in the round of 16 and quarter-finals respectively and being edged out by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-finals.
Dawson and Rice were just two of many heroes in Claret and Blue to excel during West Ham’s run to the last-four, and their contributions were recognised with a place in the Team of the Season alongside four players from Eintracht Frankfurt, three from runners-up Rangers and two from fellow semi-finalists RB Leipzig.
Centre-back Dawson started ten of West Ham’s 12 ties, scoring in the 3-0 Group H win over Genk at London Stadium in October and the opening goal in the 3-0 quarter-final win quarter-final second-leg victory at Lyon in April.
The 32-year-old helped West Ham keep six clean sheets on his ten appearances, conceding just six goals in those matches. A big part of that strong defensive record was the 15 shots Dawson blocked – more than twice as many as any other West Ham player.
Midfielder Rice kicked-off West Ham’s Europa League campaign in style with goals in the 2-0 Group H wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna last September, and added a third strike in the 3-0 victory at Lyon.
The 23-year-old made more passes, tackles and interceptions than any other Hammer in the Europa League, while he also captained West Ham in seven of their 12 ties, including all six knockout matches.
The full 2021/22 UEFA Europa League Team of the Season is: Kevin Trapp (Frankfurt), Craig Dawson (West Ham), Martin Hinteregger (Frankfurt), Calvin Bassey (Rangers), James Tavernier (Rangers), Konrad Laimer (Leipzig), Declan Rice (West Ham), Filip Kostić (Frankfurt), Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig), Rafael Borré (Frankfurt), Ryan Kent (Rangers).
Everyone associated with West Ham United would like to congratulate Craig and Declan on their inclusion and on their outstanding UEFA Europa League performances this season.